Western Michigan has announced that sophomore defenseman Oliwer Kaski has left the program to sign with HIFK of the Finnish Elite League.
Kaski, a 6’2” 200 lbs. from Finland was a regular in the Western Michigan line-up last season, scoring 4-8-12 in 31 games for the Broncos, though he had dressed in just one of Western Michigan’s six games so far this season.
It’s a bit of a strange move to see a player leave for the pros at this time of the season, but both Kaski and Western Michigan head coach Andy Murray seemed happy about the move in the school’s press release.
Kaski was quoted as saying:
"I'm really grateful for the opportunity I got here. I think I became a better player here and would not have had this opportunity if not for my time as a Broncos. I'd like to thank head coach Andy Murray and my teammates for making this place feel like home for the past year."
Murray was also positive about the move:
"We are very happy for Oliwer. It's a tremendous opportunity for him with one of the top professional hockey teams in Finland. It's a chance for him to go home and to also continue his college education in Helsinki.”
Western Michigan still has nine defensemen on their roster, so the departure doesn’t leave them particularly short-handed. The Broncos are 3-2-1 overall on the season and host MAC rival Miami this weekend.